The UN plans to pay up to $6 million to Taliban terrorist militants in Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry. Their terrorist chief is one of the most wanted by the FBI and is sanctioned by the U.S. and the UN.
Some experts consider these payments would violate the terrorism sanctions, given that a U.S. Treasury Department official confirmed that the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and their chiefs are subject to them, noted the New York Post on Dec. 22.
As a result, individuals who support them “risk exposure to U.S. sanctions,” the official said. After the Taliban were designated as terrorists, their assets in the United States were ordered frozen, and Americans were barred from dealing with them.
Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani is the head of the Haqqani network accused of violently attacking the United States and coalition troops during the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
The FBI offers a $10 million reward for information leading to Haqqani’s whereabouts. Haqqani is implicated in the deaths of six people, including an American, following an attack on a hotel in Kabul.
In addition, Haqqani may have been involved in the assassination attempt on then Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008. The network he heads also established the link between the Taliban and the Al Qaeda terrorist organization.
The UN justifies this funding of the terrorist network by arguing that its officials in Afghanistan need a reinforced security scheme.
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the budget for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan “is currently under review,” adding that it “maintains full compliance with all UN sanctions regimes.”
It nonetheless elicited a scathing comment from one source: “What it comes down to is there is no proper oversight,” a source told the news service, according to the New York Post.
The UN reiterated that the funds would be given to the 3,500 beneficiaries in its service “and not through the de facto authorities,” about $4 million would increase salaries between $275 and $319 per month, plus $90 would be provided for monthly food aid per person. The remaining $2 million is earmarked for similar use.
On the other hand, it is striking that the Biden administration on Dec. 22 waived sanctions on U.S. and UN officials doing permissible business with Taliban extremists to try to keep aid flowing to Afghanistan.
Whether this waiver allows the UN to make the controversial payments announced here is unclear.
In this context, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.) questioned this measure because it “could result in using American taxpayer funds to reward, legitimize and enable the same Taliban that took power by force and has shown no interest in abiding by international norms.”